J-school faculty blast ‘Diamond in the muff’ headline on strip club story

This headline ran Tuesday in Oklahoma State University’s Daily O’Collegian. On Thursday, the student newspaper ran a letter from School of Media and Strategic Communications faculty members, who said that “this sophomoric attempt at humor by using a slang term for a part of a woman’s anatomy undermines the credibility of everyone associated with The Daily O’Collegian. Journalists must work hard every day to earn this credibility. Once it’s lost, it’s hard to recover.”

The editorial board responded:

In their attempt to exert influence over an independent student publication, we believe the signers of this letter have undermined their positions as educators. These professors — our professors — hold a tremendous amount of power. We are left wondering what consequences these individuals may choose to impose should our staff continue to make independent editorial decisions.

Journalism student Seth Becker weighed in on the controversy:

What scares me more than a new strip club opening in town is the angry mob that seems to follow it. When did we become a people who judged what news could be printed and what had to be censored? Just because every other newspaper in Oklahoma has embraced the religious right doesn’t mean the O’Colly has to follow suit.

As I’ve been told many times in my journalism classes, the O’Colly is always looking for writers. If you don’t like what you are reading, step up.

Heaven forbid someone outside the university would think that college students would have an interest in sex and beer.

NOTE: This student newspaper has uses Steve Brill’s Press+ and allows only 3 free pageviews a month. A $10 annual membership is required after that.



  1. Heidi said:

    I, for one, think it’s a pretty clever headline. Student publications are allowed to get away with being a little crass.

  2. R Thomas Berner said:

    It ain’t

    Nut bolts
    and screws

    that’s for sure, but it is that category of clever headlines. What I find interesting is the faculty’s response. Move on, gang.

  3. Bill Reader said:

    Yet another reason why I believe “political correctness” has jumped the shark — what started as a well-meaning and necessary social movement to curb racial and gender stereotyping now has been grotesquely distorted. Whatever happened to “The right to offend is far more important than the right to not be offended?”

    I also find it troubling that J-profs would publicly scold student journalists over such a minor issue. Anybody remember the “Hail to the V”/”talking hands” ads from Summer’s Eve? The headline in question is PG, at best; I heard more risqué puns and double-entendre on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.